As part of its programmes for the 2018 World Malaria Day, Reckitt Benckiser (RB) Nigeria, makers of Mortein insecticide has sided with state governments and other stakeholders to take the fight against malaria to a greater height.
Targeting Lagos, Ogun, Abia and Abuja, the firm disclosed that its effort was targeted at increasing awareness of malaria and to reduce its morbidity and mortality rates in the identified states and Nigeria as a whole.
It noted that it had decided to partner she said, the Ministry of Health in the identified states as well as the National Malaria Elimination Programme, NMEP, in Abuja to upscale action and sustain commitment towards the elimination of malaria basically through community press briefings, community sensitisation and health quiz competitions in targeted states.
At a press briefing organised by the company in Abuja which was preceded by a road walk involving the Federal Ministry of Health and other health sector stakeholders, Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Folorunso Adewole, noted that the Federal Government was not leaving any stone unturned in the fight to bring the malaria scourge to a halt as seen in the remarkable strides of the NMEP.
Speaking on this year's theme, 'Ready to Beat Malaria', Adewole insisted that a malaria-free Nigeria was achievable through a stronger inter-sectorial coordination, implementation of well-known and cost-effective interventions, supported by a strong accountability framework and a strengthened primary health care system.
Also speaking, the National Coordinator, NMEP, Dr. Audu Bala Mohammed expressed optimism in the federal government's strategy.
The Marketing Director of RB West Africa, Aliza Leferink stated that the latest report from the World Health Organisation, WHO, on World Malaria Report which revealed that there were 216 million cases of malaria in 2016, up from 211 million cases in 2015 showed that there was the need to intensify effort to defeat the illness.
"The estimated number of malaria deaths stood at 445 000 in 2016, a similar number to the previous year of 446 000. An estimated 445,000 pregnant women and children aged below five die every year from malaria with Africa accounting for over 90 per cent of global malaria cases and deaths. As I speak to you, millions of Nigerians are suffering from malaria while every minute, a child reportedly dies from malaria."
She added, "According to the Roll Back Malaria Partnership (RBMP), Nigeria is the highest malaria-burden country, accounting for 26 per cent of global malaria cases and almost a third of related deaths. There are millions of people who remain without access to malaria prevention or even treatment resulting in preventable deaths."
RB West Africa, Marketing Manager, Home and Hygiene, Mrs. Bamigbaiye-Elatuyi Omotola, explained further that the Mortein brand had continuously put structures in place that have proven to reduce the intensity of malaria transmission in the country through sustainable initiatives.
The Commissioners for health in Lagos, Ogun and Abia states also commended the brand for teaming up with their respective state governments in the fight against malaria.